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Deuter Trail Pro Daypack

Review: Deuter Trail SL 30 Daypack

A full-featured and supremely comfortable backpack for big day hikes or short overnighters

Calling all you trekking ladies out there! The daypack you’ve been looking for has finally landed: the Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL. With a female specific slim fit for elevated comfort and weight distribution, a day of trekking with a fully loaded Trail Pro will leave you wondering how you’ve put up with ill-fitting, shoulder cramping, neck aching packs for this long. Plus, there’s a ton of excellent features and storage options that make this the best daypack/overnighter I’ve ever used.

Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL: The stats

Capacity:30 litres
Weight:3lb (1.39kg)
Material:Nylon/polyester/closed-cell foam/mesh
Fit:SL = female specific slim fit
Hydration compatible:Yes
Waterproof cover:Yes, detachable
Number of pockets:8

Features of the Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL

Hip belt

Hip belt of packWith plush padding that is mega comfortable, this is one substantial hip belt for a day pack. It features 2 large zippered pockets — I store my camera in one and snacks in the other. The adjustment straps pull forwards, which is a convenient and user-friendly touch that contributes to the overall excellent fit, feel and comfort of the hip belt.

Back panel and shoulder straps

Bag back panelLike the hip belt, the back panel and shoulder straps are also highly padded with breathable hollow-chamber foam pads. Together with the Aircontact system on the back panel (which allows good ventilation), the padding allows the weight of the pack to fit close to the body which helps keep everything as stable as possible.

Main compartment access and internal divider

Bottom access of backpackThe main compartment is accessed through a top double zipper that opens up right down to the side bottle holders. Once open, there is a small, easy access zippered mesh pocket for valuables. As well as top access, the main compartment can be accessed via a low zippered front panel. This allows you to easily access stuff at the bottom of the pack. Alternatively, it lets you access only the gear stored in the bottom section if you zip up the internal divider.

Large front pocket

bag Kangaroo pocketThere is a huge kangaroo-style pocket on the front of the pack that features stretchy side panels. This is ideal for storing waterproofs, maps and extra layers — anything you want easy access to on the trail.

Hydration compatible

Pack hydration portInside the main compartment there is a huge pocket for a 3 litre hydration bladder which can also be used to store wet gear. At the top of the pocket is a velcro tab to hang a bladder from, and an H20 port to feed a tube through from the inside to the outside of the pack. Once here, there are elastic loops on the shoulder straps to keep the tube in place.

Side pockets

Backpack Side pocketThe stretching mesh side pockets on both sides of the pack are big enough to store Nalgene-sized bottles or other extras. You can just about reach the pockets with the pack on, so I like to use them for things like my sunglasses case, buff and gloves.

Rain cover

Backpack rain coverAt the base of the pack there is a zippered pocket that stores a very bright green rain cover. This is attached to the bag with a toggle inside the pocket, or it can be removed altogether. The cover has a tight elastic edge that fits very snuggly around the pack.

Compression straps

Compression strap on bagThere are discrete internal compression straps that tighten underneath the contents of the side pockets. They’re easy to tighten when wearing the pack, but a little more tricky to loosen. The pack can also be cinched down by tightening the top buckles of the front pocket/pouch.

Pole holders

Hiking pole attachment pointThere is an easy-to-adjust system on one side of the pack that can hold both poles together. The other side of the pack features a similar top adjustment point with a lower loop. These are specifically for carrying an ice axe.

Top pocket

Top pocket of backpackTop pockets are a hugely useful addition to any pack and this one can be accessed whilst wearing the bag (if you have good shoulder flexibility!). The pocket is large, deep and zippered with a key holder inside.


Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL review

If you’ve read any of my other backpack and daypack reviews then you may have noticed that I’m a backpack kinda gal! When it comes to outdoor gear, the lowly backpack is one of the most important things we can own to enable us to up-sticks and get out adventuring.

So after a couple of decent day hikes with the Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL, I was absolutely over the moon to pack it full to the brim with gear for an overnighter.

Yes, if you have lightweight gear and are careful with your packing, the 30 litre capacity is plenty big enough for an overnight hiking trip. It holds a small tent, sleeping bag and pad, 3 litres of water, a cooking stove, 3 meals and snacks, a down jacket, waterproofs, leggings, socks, map, camera and a few other personal items (headlamp, toothbrush, loo roll etc). If it were warmer then I would replace my down jacket with another few meals and a water filter. This would mean the pack could easily deal with 2 or 3 nights on the trail.

If you’re after a mega lightweight pack then this is not it. It weighs 3lb (1.39kg), which isn’t crazy heavy either. But if you’re after a pack that it so well fitted you can run short distances with it, and something that is so comfortable you’re not dying to take it off despite the weight in it, then this is the pack for you. I absolutely LOVE it. I can’t believe how well it distributes the weight across my body and how stable it is on both technical sections of the trail and during the times when I can’t help but break out into a trot!

 

Sternum strap

Comfort and fit

The Deuter Trail Pro SL is a women’s pack that is created by women. This means that is has a shorter back length and a narrower fit than men’s or unisex packs. Plus, the sternum strap sits high up on the chest.

Combined with the highly plush padding and the superb weight distribution, this is by far the most comfortable daypack I have carried in a very long time, if not ever. Usually I start to feel my neck and shoulders working overtime towards the end of a day on the trail. But the snug fit keeps most of the weight on the hips and also prevents the pack from moving around on my back.

If you try the pack on without weight in it, the top of the pack sticks up a lot. Lean your head back slightly and you’ll feel the internal spring frame on the back of your head. However, this goes away completely once the pack is full of gear; the whole bag drops down and feels like it molds itself to your body.

The padded back panel features an AirContact System. This is designed to get air flowing between you and the pack to minimise sweating. It’s effectiveness is a tough one to measure, to be honest. Sweating is an unavoidable part of hiking. The back panel system doesn’t stop sweat from building up, but who knows how much more sweaty my back would feel if it wasn’t there?! This style of back padding will never be able to compete with trampoline-style back panels when it comes to airflow. However, for such a plush back panel, it doesn’t do badly at all.

Woman wearing pack in mountains

Usability

Some people prefer not to have many pockets on their packs. But I’m an organised kinda packer and really love the number of storage options available on the Trail Pro. I’ve mentioned all the pockets in the features section above. But my faves have to be the large zippered pockets on the hip belt. These are the kind of pockets you’d expect to find on a large 50+ litre pack., and are an addition that make this bag so well suited to overnight use. I also really love the front kangaroo-style pocket. I use it for easy access items like a map, waterproofs and loo-roll. The number and functionality of the external pockets means that there is very little need to open up the main section of the bag until setting up camp of an evening.

Versatility

The Trail Pro 30 SL is designed for big days on the trail or short overnight trips. As mentioned, it holds everything I need for an overnighter (including 3 litres of water). But it’s also ideal for big days in the mountains during winter, providing loads of space for a stove, extra food and layers etc. However, for summer day hikes the multiple features and large 30 litre capacity are a little overkill and you may be better off opting for a smaller, more lightweight option like the Deuter Speed Lite 20.

If you’re day hiking with kids, or carrying stuff for more than one person during the summer, then it’s ideal as the extra weight of loads of water etc is no problem from a weight vs comfort point of view.

Though designed for the rough and tumble of the trail, it’s also a really excellent backpack to fly with. It’s small enough to use as carry-on luggage but plenty big enough to pack everything you need for a city-break or a long weekend away.

Woman trekking in hills

What I love the most about the Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL

I’m a huge fan of the functionality of this pack and enjoy the number and design of all the storage options. But what I really love about it is how comfortable it is. This is largely down to the fact that it fits me better than any pack I’ve ever used. The female fit really is a winner. Plus, it distributes weight superbly.

What I don’t love so much about the Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL

It’s on the heavy side for a daypack. However, I’d rather carry an extra few hundred grams for the sake of comfort. Other than that, I’ve yet to find anything that is even a tiny gripe.


Verdict

Providing unrivalled comfort and superb weight distribution, the female-specific fit of the Deuter Trail Pro 30 SL is a must for women tackling big days on the trail or short overnighters. Though a little on the pricey side for a daypack, the excellent storage options, functionality, durability and usability make this versatile pack worth every penny. Summer day hikers, who prefer to keep their days short and casual, may find the size and features a little over the top, and would be better off opting for a smaller, more simple pack. But for big days on the trail during winter, for those carrying gear and fuel for kids, or for overnight adventures this pack is an absolute winner.

Find the latest price at:
Deuter | Amazon | REI

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About the author

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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